Durango, Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trips | AVA Rafting
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Located in the southwest corner of Colorado at the base of the San Juan Mountains, Durango is the ideal summer destination. Durango is home to many historical sites, including the famous Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, world class whitewater on the Animas River, and the San Juan National Forest.

Durango is home to a full-service regional airport and is easily accessible by car. Several major U.S. and state highways approach the city from every direction, and make up the scenic San Juan Skyway click for more. Durango’s rich Colorado history and endless activities make this the ideal Colorado vacation town!


Durango Whitewater Rafting & Other Activities

Summertime in Durango is the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy an amazing array of outdoor activities including horseback riding near Vallecito Lake, sightseeing along southwest and, of course, rafting! Whitewater rafting on the Animas River offers beginner options that are great for families with children, as well as intense, advanced whitewater that’s perfect for experienced rafters.


What is the closest rafting to Durango?

The closest rafting to Durango is on the Animas River in southwest Colorado. The Animas River is class III rapids that allow kids as young as 4+.

What is the closest zipline course to Durango?

The closest zipline adventure in Durango is Full Blast Adventure Center which offers 3 hour adventures and 2 hour adventures.

What is the best rafting near Durango?

The best rafting near Durango is on the Lower Animas River which has an adventure level of mild to intermediate which has contact with water and swimming potential.

When is the Durango rafting season?

The best time to go rafting in Durango is between April and October. During high water which can happen May, June or July, you will experience up to class III+ rapids.

Durango Adventure Tips

Is there Family-Friendly rafting near Durango?

Durango is a great place to go rafting with the family. All kids need to be age 4+ and during high water age minimums can increase. Choose from a half day or full day to make sure the trip is just right from your family.

Is it safe to go rafting in Durango?

There are inherent risks when it comes to rafting. Rafting on the Animas River in Durango is classified as mild to intermediate meaning there is a potential for swimming and rafters will have to paddle, but there will also be times of slower moving water.

How long is the average rafting trip near Durango?

There are half day and full day rafting trips on the Animas River in Durango. Half day trips can take between 3-4 hours total and full day trips can take between 5-7 hours. Trip lengths depend on the water levels.

What should you pack for a rafting trip near Durango?

It is important that you wear shoes that will stay secure to your feet. Tennis shoes, water shoes and chacos work great. Flip flops and Crocs will not work for rafting. Depending on the temperature you might want to wear a wetsuit with a swimsuit underneath. Make sure to pack dry clothes to put on after you are done whitewater rafting.


If you are traveling around Colorado, there are AVA activities in each of the following locations. 

Buena Vista, Colorado located less than 4 hours north of Durango, Colorado


  1. Arkansas River Rafting
  2. Mountain Top Ziplining
  3. Granite Via Ferrata
  4. Rock Climbing
  5. Overnight & Multi-day Adventures
  6. Horseback Riding
  7. Lodging: Cabins and Campsites

Breckenridge, Colorado, located about 5 hours north of Durango


  1. Blue River Rafting
  2. Hot Air balloons

Idaho Springs, Colorado is located about 5 hours and 45 minutes from Durango


Kremmling, Colorado is located 6 hours 


  1. Upper Colorado Rafting Trips
  2. Stand Up Paddle Boards
  3. Inflatable Kayaks
  4. Fly Fishing Trips
  5. River & Rafting Gear Rentals
  6. Off-Roading UTV Rentals
  7. Horseback riding
  8. Guided Hiking
  9. Overnight and Multi-day Adventures





  • White water rafting the Animas River
  • San Juan National Forest 
  • Historic Narrow Gauge Railroad rides 
  • Mesa Verde National Park (35 miles away from downtown) 
  • 1 Hour to Four Corners Monument 
  • Vallecito Lake and Lemon Lake 
  • Bar D Chuckwagon 
  • Historic Downtown 
  • Trimble Natural Hot Springs


Looking for some live entertainment? Enjoy authentic old west entertainment by starlight at the Bar D Chuckwagon, where you’ll indulge in a delicious dinner and get full bodied entertainment all wrapped into one! Or enjoy a summertime concert at one of Durango’s many music venues. Explore

Durango’s historic downtown, where the old west meets the southwest, and discover Durango’s vibrant art scene, eclectic shops, and rich culture, right in the heart of town. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, take a stroll along the Animas River Trail that winds through town.

Durango is also the home to Trimble Natural Hot Springs, the perfect place to relax and unwind after a fun filled day in the Colorado wilderness.


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Trips available near Durango